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'll have more on what organizing for action chief jim messina has now told his team. >>> good morning from washington. it's tuesday, march 4th, 2014. this is "the daily rundown." >>> first reads of the morning, russian president vladimir putin went before the media this morning to defend his country's actions in the wake of the ukrainian revolution, arguing that it amounted to a coup that demanded a russian response. he he told reporters he would use force in ukraine only as a last resort, he claimed. but he said he reserves the right to do so. putin also said further military action would be justified because the ousted president, victor yanukovych has requested it. he said anything russia does would be to protect the citizens of ukraine. and he even told reporters that the soldiers currently in crimea, they're not russian soldiers at all. he called them local forces. now, responding to the united states, the russian leader shrugged off threats of diplomatic or economic punishments. meanwhile, president obama said monday that russia has a choice. >> over time, this will be a costly propos
plans that would protect u.s. personnel that would stay in the country post-2014. nbc's jim miklaszewski has just travelled to afghanistan, and he has more from the head of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey. >> it is a statement that we have reached a point where we have to plan for other options, to include a complete withdrawal by the end of 2014. but it's not an indication that we're not continued to be committed to a mission beyond '14, because we very much believe that the afghans need our help. >> this wasn't supposed to happen. despite plans to end the combat mission this year, the u.s., the obama administration, had always intended to keep a few thousand troops there, as many as 10,000, for instance, in the country, to do two things -- help train soldiers and to do counterterrorism, go after any terrorist cells. to do it, the u.s. insisted that karzai sign a bilateral security agreement, bsa, to protect u.s. soldiers. they've been waiting on him. and waiting and waiting. for months. playing a game of diplomatic chicken, hoping the threat of a u.s. withdrawal would force hi
right, ian williams, thank you for that report. >>> let's turn now to russia where nbc's jim maceda joins us from moscow. what's the latest from there, jim, particularly in the wake of the news conference that putin held yesterday? >> reporter: hi, kristen. well, from the -- certainly from this perch here, it does feel like a flurry of diplomacy in the past 24 hours. the chances of avoiding war in the ukraine seems to be getting a boost, particularly from putin's comments yesterday, tuesday, that he saw no need to use force in ukraine and had no desire to annex the crimean peninsula. those two comments really allowed the military confrontation that we've been reporting on to take a step b k back. and even though, as ian reports, crimea remains tense on the ground today with a new report that russians had seized two ukrainian anti-missile posts, the perception still is that ukraine is spinning now not towards war, but towards some kind of diplomatic solution. secretary of state john kerry's meeting with sergey lavrov, for instance, starting in paris in less than an hour, is their fi
congressman jim colby. he came out in 1996 to become the second openly gay republican to serve in congress. of course, he represented part of the state of arizona. congressman, good morning to you, sir. >> good morning, chuck. >> i just want to get your initial reaction to governor brewer's decision. >> well, it was the right decision. i'm certainly pleased that she did it. i felt all along that when she weighed all the issues that she would do exactly what she did. she's right. it's not necessary. it doesn't -- it harms the reputation of the state of arizona, and it would be economically very damaging to the state. it's not the right thing to do. >> explain to some viewers here about the arizona -- the state of the arizona republican party these days. i'm reminded, folks, a few months ago, i believe the state party actually voted to censure john mccain. there seems to be a real divide sort of where national republicans and even republicans that represent arizona here in washington view things on social issues and what happens inside the state. explain that divide. >> well, there is some,
being assured that the democratic super pac priorities usa would stay neutral, jim messina made it clear they were getting on the hillary clinton bandwagon. -- the lack of discipline or the fact that being vice president is, in a sense, a recipe for being rodney dangerfield. it's that the democratic party is unlikely perhaps to nominate or to rally around a white male presidential candidate, perhaps for quite sometime. so let's talk a little bit more about this clinton-biden issue. joining me is msnbc contributor and former white house press secretary for president obama, robert gibbs, and tracey sefle who serves as an advisor to ready for hillary. i'm not saying you're being put on the side of biden here, but what was your -- what do you make of where biden's standing is? i thought that anonymous quote said it all, right? here's a guy who's gotten as close to the brass ring as he's ever gotten before, and then suddenly, the representing apparently has disappeared. >> right. and i thought it was a remarkably well-written piece by glenn. glenn is not used to me saying something like that.
. here's nbc's jim maceda who has more from moscow. >> reporter: putin now has his hand on the russian crown jewel. crimea gives putin an essential warm water port, and it counters in his mind the nightmare scenario. that's what he sees as an ultranationalist government suddenly cancelling russia's lease on the black see base and kiev taking control of crimea and then joining nato down the line, bringing the enemy, in his mind, right back to russia's doorstep. so vladimir putin has made that calculus, and it's now unclear just what the west can do about it. chuck, back to you. >> thank you, jim. right now, according to folks i've talked to, the u.s. has three options, none of them involve the u.s. military. the first, the u.s. could move along with european allies to officially suspend or kick russia out of the g8. that would be symbolic. second, the administration could pursue its own sanctions that target russian banks as well as international sanctions, targeting russian oil companies. third, the u.s. may convince the european union to cancel some of its energy contracts with russia
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